Category Archives: Plant of the Month

Baja evening primrose --Oenothera stubbei

Baja evening primrose –Oenothera stubbei

Southwest Plant of the Month: Baja Evening Primrose –Oenothera stubbei Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 6” x varies Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, partial shade Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Large, graceful, yellow flowers in the spring and summer. Mat form­ing ground cover with narrow linear, deep green leaves on multitude of long vine-like stems. Flowers rise above foliage on individual 6″ long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Avoid overwatering/poor drainage. Watch for flea beetles. Aggressive spreader in irrigated settings. Some freeze damage…

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Angelita Daisy

Angelita daisy Tetraneuris acaulis (Hymenoxys acaulis)

Plant Form: Flower Plant Size: 1′ x 1′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Yellow Physical Description: Tidy, compact mounds of gray-green leaves scarcely noticeable under a nearly continuous year-round display of numerous, solitary, yellow daisy-like flowers on long thin stalks. Care and Maintenance: Overwatering/poor drainage. Difficult to keep up with removal of persistent spent flower stalks without shearing off new flower buds. Gardener’s Notes: A wonderful, drought tolerant, cold-hardy, ever blooming addition to the desert garden. Native to Texas, New Mexico…

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Autumn Sage

Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month: Autumn sage, Cherry sage –Salvia greggii Plant Form: Shrub Plant Size: 3′ x 2′ Plant Type: Semi-evergreen Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun, Partial Shade Colors: Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow Physical Description: Brilliant 1″ flowers slightly above glossy, bright green aromatic leaves on woody, densely foliaged branches. Flowers normally cherry red to pink but also white, yellow, orange, rose and purple. Care and Maintenance: Pruning required to reinvigorate foliage and blooming. Spittle bugs. Odd colored flower varieties often not…

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G. bipinnatifida

Desert verbena Glandularia spp.

Southwest Plant of the Month: Desert Verbena Glandularia spp. (Verbena spp.) Plant Form: Ground Cover Plant Size: 1′ x 2′ Plant Type: Perennial Water Usage: Low Sunlight: Sun Colors: Pink, Purple, Red Physical Description: Flat-topped spikes of pink, lavender, rose to purple flowers on mounds of gray-green to deep green, three cleft or lobed and toothed leaves. Stems and leaves are often hairy. Care and Maintenance: Generally short-lived. Periodic shearing prolongs and renews the plant. Drought tolerant but periodic irrigation yields the best floral and…

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Ericameria laricifolia Turpentine bush

Southwest Plant of the Month –  Ericameria laricifolia (A. Gray) Shinners  Turpentine-bush is a broadly rounded 1-3 ft. shrub with profuse, small golden-yellow flower heads and dense greenery that turns golden in the fall. Leaves are clustered toward the stem tip and are short and leathery. They emit a tart lemony scent when rubbed gently. If rubbed harder, the leaves get gummy and smell like turpentine.This small shrub bears numerous tiny yellow flowers in late summer and fall. Water Use: Low Light Requirement: Sun, Part…

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Furman’s Red Salvia Greggii

Southwest Plant of the Month Furman’s Red Texas Sage Salvia Greggii A favorite of bee’s and hummingbirds, Salvia greggii cultivars, (Fuman’s Red) is one of many varieties of colorful and hardy salvia. Blooms in late spring and again in the fall – this variety of salvia covers itself in bright red flowers and holds a sweet aroma within its foliage. This is a drought resistant/drought tolerant (xeric) plant. Salvia (commonly referred to as ‘Sage’) represent a huge family of ornamental plants that attract a variety…

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Humulus lupulus var. Neomexicanus

Wild Hop- Humulus lupulus var. neomexicanus

-Southwest Plant of the Month Humulus lupulus var. Neomexicanus is a wild hop that is native to the streams and river areas of the New Mexico mountains and throughout the Western states region. Humulus (hops) belongs to the Cannabacea flowering family of plants that includes around 170 species grouped in about 11 genera that also includes its more famous cousin, Cannabis (hemp), as well as, Celtis (hackberries). Below, Sandoval County Master Gardener, Jim Dodson, son Aseph and daughter, Mary-Elizabeth, posing in front of some late…

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Desert Willow

Desert Willow- Chilopsis linearis

From the Catalpa family –Desert Willow Southwest Plant of the Month- Desert Willow- Chilopsis linearis This tree is called a “willow” because of how its leaves are shaped – however, it is a relative of the catalpa and can grow either into bushes or small trees. It is a deciduous tree with long narrow leaves from 6 to 12 inches long and the fruit of the tree look like long green “beans” which can grow to the length of the tree’s leaves. This New Mexico…

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Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)

Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista)

Southwest Plant of the Month – December Nolina microcarpa (Big Beargrass or Sacahuista) A hardy native to the Southwest, the Big Bear Grass or Sacahuista is extremely useful for use in xeriscapes and in butterfly and songbird sanctuaries. This evergreen, grass-like succulent, blooms in early summer with tall spikes of tiny white flowers and requires little water to thrive as a drought resistant/drought tolerant plant. Visually, Beargrass is a clumping grass growing from underground stems. Narrow leaves have curly threads at the end of each…

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Wild zinnias growing in profusion near the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo by Charlie McDonald.

Southwest Plant of the Month-Wild Zinnia

Wild zinnias growing in profusion near the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo by Charlie McDonald. Native plants of the Southwest must withstand temperature variance, drought and high winds throughout the state. This hardy plant flourishes in the wild flourish in the wild and are essential additions to a xeriscape yard. These hardy plants grow in a low-lying, mounded shape and spread through a rhizome (tuberous roots) system creating a beautiful low-lying ground cover. Common Name Prairie Zinnia Botanical Name Zinnia grandiflora Zones…

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